Playing Snake On London's Granary Square Fountains Is The Greatest Way To Relive The '90s — VIDEO
Anyone who owned a Nokia cell phone in the '90s and early '00s probably also developed an unhealthy obsession with the game Snake. It was so simple yet so engrossing, and I'd gladly give a third of my life to setting a new high score. The development team behind London's Granary Square seem to share the same obsession, because they've essentially made the Granary Square fountains a giant game of Snake, which can be played by controlling the fountain jets using an app. It's quite the modern-day equivalent to playing Snake on your phone.
In the King's Cross area of London are four rectangular fountains whose grid-like designs look suspiciously like giant cell phone screens. This similarity was apparently intentional because design and engineering team the Fountain Workshop created the Granary Square Fountains in conjunction with Granary Squirt, a smartphone app that allows you to control the fountains and play games. The first game the team developed is Snake, everyone's favorite way of getting unreasonably frustrated.
Once you've downloaded the app, your phone will be able to control the 1,080 jets in the Granary Square Fountains, directing them to light up with simple movements. The snake in the game is a moving string of shooting jets that you can move left by tilting your phone left, forward by tilting your phone forward, and so on.
At night, the jets that form the snake light up so you can easily see it. Just like the original Snake, you have to avoid running into yourself, the walls, or any objects in the grid as your snake grows increasingly longer, or you lose that round. Up to eight people can play on the fountains at one time, so you'll have to avoid other people's snakes as well.
If you want to try out this blown-up urban version of Snake, download the Granary Squirt app in iTunes or Google Play, head to Granary Square in King's Cross, London, between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. local time, and connect with The Cloud WiFi. The app will let you know your starting position as well as the color and direction of your snake. When you're ready, just point your phone at the fountain and play.
Before smartphone technology turned the art of killing time into, well, life, we had good, old Snake to preoccupy ourselves. Originally invented in the 1970s, Snake distracted kids in study halls across America, and really took over our lives in the 1990s, when they came preloaded onto our Nokias. It may or may not have been responsible for the popularity of the Nokia 3310.
I don't know about you, but I could easily spend three hours trying to get past one level. And I have yet to feel anything comparable to that sense of triumph I felt whenever I beat my own high score. One time my friend borrowed my phone to play Snake and set a high score that was considerably higher than mine and I didn't talk to her for a week. You don't hijack someone's Facebook to post lewd status updates, and you don't hijack someone's Nokia to set your own high score.
Watch a video of the Granary Fountain Snake game in action — the best part is when he says, "I really need to stop saying the phrase 'my pink snake goes up.'"